SNOOP DOGGS HOOD OF HORROR
Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror is directed by Stacy Title. The only other work from Stacy Title that I have seen has been The Last Supper (1995), a modestly amusing black comedy about a group of liberal students who invite right wing radicals to dinner and then bump them off. Some of Hood of Horror is co-written by director Tim Sullivan, best known for 2001 Maniacs (2005) and sequel, Driftwood (2006) and the I Was a Teenage Werebear segment of Chillerama (2011).
Despite its promise, Hood of Horror is a film that fails to rise to the wackiness of its premise. There is an animated prologue about how HOH got his name and, while the animation is interesting, the pace of the segment is far too laidback and voice recording too quiet to be effective. The segments with Snoop Dogg as narrator are fairly terrible. Snoop tries to deliver everything in rhyme but his accent mangles it hood of horrors comes out sounding like hood of whores. Snoop Doog makes all the requisite bad puns but try as he might he just cannot do the evilly cackling narrator thing. Tripped out as a pimp and accompanied by his hoes, he merely looks seedy. In truth, take away the guys bling and in plainclothes the only part you could cast him in would be the role of the snitch or a sleazy individual pushing drugs to children on a tv cop show.
The segments are highly variable. The first episode Crossed Out fails to work. The story is strongly reminiscent of the Drawn and Quartered segment of Amicuss EC adaptation The Vault of Horror (1973), which had Tom Baker as an artist who could kill with the paintings he painted. However, the story here is slight and the actors cast weak. The only notable point about the segment is some very gory deaths one victim with a bottle of malt liquor impaled through his head; another strangled and splattered in a phone booth by the telephone cord; Daniella Alonso dispatched with a can of spray-paint impacted into the top of her skull; and the revelation at the end of the mural painted with her body parts including her eyes sitting in the midst of the wall, which leads to a very bad final pun. Certainly, Stacy Title shoots the segment with an incredibly vibrant colour scheme.
The second segment The Scumlord is also strongly reminiscent of another of Amicuss EC adaptations, namely the Blind Alleys episode of Tales from the Crypt (1972), which had Nigel Patrick as a owner of a home for the blind who made the men in his care suffer while he lived a life of luxury, before they turned on him with a cruel typically EC just desserts revenge. The Scumlord is the one segment of Hood of Horror that works the way an anthology segment should. It is staffed by some entertainingly hateable and loathsome caricatures, Stacy Title gets the tone of black humour down perfectly and there is an undeniably grotesque just desserts ending where Brande Roderick is fed caviar down a tube until she explodes and then her dog feasts on her remains. There is a fine performance from the perpetually underrated Ernie Hudson.
You think at this point that Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror has finally started to finds its feet. Unfortunately, the subsequent segment Rapsody Askew slips back to the same routine as Crossed Out. The storys morality play is a dull one and the episode holds nothing remarkable, barring a reasonable performance from Lin Shaye as the heavenly messenger. The segment at least has the bizarre sight of Jason Alexander of Seinfeld (1990-8) fame affecting a British accent that he does not seem able to keep straight for a single complete sentence.